4 Things That Today’s EHS Manager Must Know
The supply chain can’t be ignored
The days when the scope of the EHS Manager’s role was restricted to the four walls of an office are long gone. The world today demands to know more about the environmental and social impacts of a particular product or service. In addition, regulations related to sustainability performance are leading to a growing link between EHS and Sustainability, because regulatory compliance is inherently part of the EHS function, and therefore EHS is being seen as a “natural home” for sustainability-related regulations and standards. Failing to obtain full transparency and disclosure from suppliers regarding ingredients of purchased materials, labor conditions at their facilities, environmental performance and other indicators, creates EHS and Sustainability risks.
The EHS Manager has now a more global role
In addition to the need to take into account the supply chain, which can span over the entire globe, the EHS Manager needs to think about global regulations, not just local ones. Compliance is required with all regulatory obligations of all countries where the product is manufactured, stored or sold. Every time a product passes through a different country, new regulatory challenges arise. Regulatory requirements across multiple jurisdictions must be monitored as part of any compliance program. And since regulatory compliance has always been an integral part of the EHS function, EHS Managers need to have a solid grasp and oversight of all applicable global regulations.
EHS and Risk are converging
As a role that interfaces regularly with manufacturing, product development, legal, and human resources, the EHS Manager has been a pioneer in breaking down silos. The next frontier is the removal of barriers between the EHS function and Risk Management. This is essential for a number of reasons. First, compliance processes need to be simplified and consolidated. Compliance risks cannot be managed in parallel by two separate functions. Second, both EHS and Risk have a number of stakeholders in common, creating opportunities for improvement in stakeholder engagement. Third, a holistic assessment of hazards, inherent risks, controls and residual risks creates a more effective framework to mitigate EHS risks. Finally, both EHS and Risk functions are ultimately concerned with tracking performance and facilitating continuous improvement, two goals that can be better attained by breaking down silos.
Technology is an indispensable requirement
Consider the following: 1) Need to track what is happening in the supply chain; 2) Increasing number of regulations to comply with; 3) More complex regulations; 4) Growing scope of the EHS function through convergence with risk management; and 5) Greater transparency requested by stakeholders. All of these factors create data management challenges. The EHS Manager can best address these challenges through decision support tools, data mining, predictive analytics, data validation tools, better data capture through mobility, regulatory content in digital format, and other capabilities that are only possible through technology. EHS Managers in best-in-class organizations recognize the need for an integrated software system that brings EHS standardization and automation.
If you want to learn more, don’t hesitate to view the recording of the webinar The Changing Role of Today’s EHS Managers & Tactics to Thrive in 2016 that covers the following topics:
- How the EHS Manager’s role is evolving and key EHS pain points.
- Strategic recommendations, tools and tactics to manage today’s EHS challenges.
- How to leverage data management for a successful EHS program.
- Applicable best practices from EHS managers to succeed in your role.